Sarah Hay and Matthew Jeffers talk all about their captivating new film Unidentified Objects and explain why it’s worth the watch.
Every now and then, a film is released that captivates an audience from beginning to end, and Unidentified Objects is that film.
Starring Sarah Hay and Matthew Jeffers, the movie, which will debut at Outfest in Los Angeles, follows an alien-obsessed woman named Winona (Hay) and Peter, an uptight dwarf (Jeffers), who set out on a road trip to find their place in life.
Benny Adams spoke with both Hay and Jeffers about the motivation behind the film and what they want viewers to take away after watching.
Unidentified Objects is a masterpiece that can cover hard-hitting topics, including inclusiveness and beauty stigmas but tastefully mixes in just the right amount of comedy as well, something that Hay says is what instantly drew her to the project.
“I was just so interested in the script because it was so fast-paced and funny, as well as heartfelt. One moment I am laughing, the next moment I am crying.”
While this film shows two people embarking on a journey together, both Jeffers and Hay found themselves going on two different journeys as well while filming. Jeffers does a phenomenal job portraying Peter, giving his character many layers for viewers to enjoy. This was an entirely new journey for the actor due to this being his first leading role in a feature film, and although the talented actor gave a great performance, in the beginning, he did find that he would sometimes doubt himself.
“I have real self-doubt and anxiety about taking on a leading role. It was really scary. There’s money involved and time; you are an investment and want to deliver on that. it’s gratifying to see the film and to be proud of the work. I think as artists the goal is to be proud of what you do, and I’ve been on projects where I thought, wow that was s***, and that’s okay, But it helps when you do find that project and that story where the stars align. It’s special and unique. I’m honored that they believed in me and that Sarah believed in me.”
While Jeffers’ journey fell more within facing one’s fears Hay’s journey led her to discover her passion for acting again. She revealed before filming that she was thinking about putting the craft behind her.
“Being around Matthew gave me a new motivation for acting because, for a while, I was considering maybe stopping. During the pandemic, I had a partner and was thinking more about a home life. Spending time with Matthew reignited a flame in my passion for acting because when you gel with someone like that, you get to bounce off somebody, play, and have fun again… Being able to share this with everyone in our experience we had has made me gain a whole new motivation for art.”
This movie does an amazing job of letting viewers know that it’s okay to be different, and not to be afraid to thrive in one’s own uniqueness, which is something that Hay wants viewers to take away after watching the film.
“My favorite quote from the movie is the world does not want us, and that’s kind of how our characters feel deep inside, like the unwanted people of the fringes who feel not accepted, and they don’t have a place in the way that societal norms work. I think we’re hopeful for people who watch it who have that feeling, which I think all of us do on some level, feel more excited about being different, knowing that there are other people out there who feel the same way and who value uniqueness and weirdness.”
For Jeffers, he’s hoping to see more films like this in the future with unapologetic storytelling and risk-taking.
“The director and writer took a huge risk on raising money to tell a story that centers around a little person, knowing they were not going to get Peter Dinklage. That boldness is hopefully an inspiration for filmmakers and storytellers to go there and be bold in casting and the stories that you tell. With the right team, you can continue to break down barriers that have been holding a lot of artists and storytellers back for so long.”
There will be a showing of Unidentified Objects at the Outfest LA LGBTQ+ Film Festival on July 20th.